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1984 Vice Presidental Debate

Series/Special. Vice President Bush and Rep. Geraldine Ferraro debate in Philadelphia in 1984.

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Bush 15, America 14, Mr. Mondale 14, United States 12, Soviet Union 9, El Salvador 8, Mrs. Ferraro 8, Us 7, Lebanon 7, Ronald Reagan 5, Iran 4, Cia 4, Walter Mondale 3, Mondale 3, Mr. Falwell 3, Khamenei 2, China 2, Vietnam 2, Beirut 2, U.s. 2,
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  CSPAN    1984 Vice Presidental Debate    Series/Special. Vice President Bush and Rep.  
   Geraldine Ferraro debate in Philadelphia in 1984.  

    October 6, 2012
    10:20 - 11:50pm EDT  

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[conversation inaudible]
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>> on the day, the fourth, fifth, sixth day after being in office, i can't remember, we
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were sitting in the oval office, and larry king, commeeve chief economic advisor said, mr. president, you are going to have a trillion dollar deficit. he said, i haven't done anything yet. >> we cannot keep looking our children in the eye knowing that we're going to give them a diminished future because we are spending their money today. we have got to stop spending we don't have. we must cut spending. we must get this debt under control. abc news martha reddick moderates. you can watch the debate. your action, calls, e-mails and
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tweets. follow our life coverage on radio, steve, and online at c-span.org. >> in 1984, democratic president mom knee walter mondale made history when he chose geraldiner ferraro as the first female on a major party ticket. . it's an hour and a half. >> good evening, i'm dorothy ridings, from the league of
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women voters. our panelists today is the national correspondent for u.s. news and world reports, jack white, correspondent for "time" magazine, norma quorrels, correspondent for nbc news, and a representative from eye knight-ridder newspapers. sandra van oker is our moderator tonight. >> thank you, dorothy. a few words about the order of our format tonight there will be a series of questions from the four reporters on the panel. the reporters will ask a question, a follow-up question. then each candidate will get to
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rebut the other. the order will be vice president bush, congresswoman ferraro >> vice president bush, four years ago, you ran against mr. reagan for the republican nomination. you disagreed with him on such issues as the equal rights amendment, abortion, and you labeled his economic policies as voo-doo. now you apparently agree with him on every issue. would you follow mr. reagan's policies down the line, or would you revert to some of your own ideas? >> i don't think there is a great difference between my
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ideas and president reagan's. one of the reasons i think we are an effective team is i believe firmly in his leadership. he has really turned this country around. we agree on the economic programs. when we come into office, inflation was 21%. interest rates were wiping out americans. 21.5%, if you can believe it. productivity was down. savings was down. there was despair. the leadership of the country told the people there was a malaise out there. this president turned it oorned, and i have been with him every step of the way. of course i would continue those programs, because it has brought america back. and why mr. mondale can't understand that there is a new enthusiasm in this country, that america is back, there is new strong leadership, i don't know. he has one answer to the problem. raise everybody's taxes. he looked right into that lens
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and he said out there in san francisco, he said i'm going to raise your taxes. well, he's had a lot of experience in that, and he's sure going to go ahead and do it. i remember a statement of lyndon johnson, as he was looking around, his party people weren't supporting him. he said, hey, they painted their tails white and they ran with the antelope. there are a lot of democrats running with the antelopes. not one single democrat introduced that tax bill into the congress. of course i support the president's plan. i support him on everything else. i'm not sure if i didn't i would go doing what mr. mondale has done with jimmy carter, jump away from him. i couldn't do that to ronald reagan now, next year, or any other time. i have too much trust in him, i have too much friendship for him, and i would feel very
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uncomfortable doing that. >> some now claim he disagreed privately with jimmy cart's -- carter's decision to improse the grain emming. -- embargo. where, in your judgment, does loyalty end and principle begin? >> you can't have the united states of america out there looking over his shoulder wondering whether his vice president is going to be supporting him. mrs. ferraro has quite a few differences with vice president mondale. and i understand it when she changed her position on gas tax. she voted to end the grain embargo. if they win, and i hope they don't, but if they l win, she will have to accommodate his views, but she will give the
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same kind of loyalty i'm giving president reagan. one, we are not that far apart on anything. he also knows i won't be talking about him to the press, or i won't be knifing in the back by leaking to make me look good and complicate the problems for the president of the united states. >> congresswoman ferraro, your opponent has served in the house of representatives, he's been ambassador to the united nations, ambassador to china, director of the central intelligence agency and now he's been vice president for four years. how does your three terms in the house of representatives stack up against experience like that? >> well, let me first say, i wasn't born at the age of 43 when i entered the congress. i did have a life before that as well. i was a prosecutor for almost five years, i was a district attorney, and i was a teacher. it is not only what is on your paper resume that makes you qualified to run for or to hold office. it is how you approach problems and what your values are.
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i think if one were to take a look at my career, they will see that i level with people, that i approach problems an litcally. that i am able to assess various facts with reference to a problem. and i can make the hard decisions. i am intrigued when i hear vice president bush talk about his support of the economic program and how everything is going so beautifully. i do too recall when vice president bush was running in the primary against president reagan and he called the program voo-doo economics, and it was and it is. we are facing absolutely massive deficits. this administration has chosen to ignore it. the president has failed to put forth a plan to deal with the deficits. if everyone believes that everything is coming up roses, perhaps the vice president should join me as i travel around the country and speak to people. people in johnstown, pennsylvania, are not
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necessarily thrilled with what's happening in america because they are standing in the light of a closed plant. the people in youngstown, ohio have stores boarded up because the economy is not doing well. it is not only the old industries failing. it is also the new ones. in san jose they are complaining because they can't export their high-tech goods to countries like china and japan. people in the northwest in the state of oregon are complaining about what's happening to the agricultural industry, the timber industry. so things are not as great as the administration is wanting us to believe in their television commercials. my feeling, quite frankly, is that i have enough experience to see the problems, address them, and make the tough decisions and level with people with reference to those problems. >> despite the historic aspects of your candidacy, how do you account for the fact that a majority of women favor the
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reagan bush ticket over the mondale ferraro ticket? >> i don't. first of all, i am not a believer in polls. let me say further, what we are talking about are problems that are facing the entire nation. they are not just problems facing women. the issues in this campaign are the war-peace issues, the problems with deficits. the problems with trade deficits. we are now facing $120 trillion trade depeff sit in this country. we are facing problems with the environment. i think what we'll be doing over the next several weeks, and i'm absolutely delighted the league is sponsoring these debates and we are able to now speak to the american public and address the issues in a way such as this. i think you are going to see a change in those polls. >> vice president bush, you have one minute to rebuttal. >> well, i was glad to get that vote of confidence from mrs. ferraro in my economic judgment. let me make a statement on the
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economy. the other day she was a -- in a plant, and she said, why are so many of you voting for the reagan-bush ticket? and there was a long deathly silence. and she said, come on, we delivered. that's the problem. i'm not blaming her except the liberal voting record in the house. they delivered. they delivered 21.5% interest rates. they delivered what they called "malaise." they delivered interest rates that were right off the charts. they delivered take home pay checks that were shrinking. and we delivered optimism. people are going back to work, six million of them, and 300,000 jobs a month being created. that's why there was that deathly silence out there in that plant. they delivered the wrong thing. ronald reagan is delivering leadership. >> congresswoman ferraro, one minute rebuttal.
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>> i think what i'm going to have to do is i'm going to start correcting the vice president's statistics. there are six million more people that have jobs. in the prior administration, with all their jobs, they created 10 million jobs. the housing interest rates during this administration for housing for middle class americans were 14.5% under the prior administration with all their problems. the average rate was 10.6%. if you take a look at the number of people living in poverty as a result of this administration, 6 million people. 500,000 people knocked off disability rolls -- rolls. you can walk around saying things are great. that's what we've been hearing in those commercials. i expect they expect the american people to believe that. i will become a one-woman truth squad, and we'll start tonight. >> congresswoman ferraro, i would like to ask you about civil rights.
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you have been in the past of a constitutional amendment to ban busing. both of these measured are opposed by not only your running mate but just about every ed kaye indicational organization in the country. now that you are mr. mondale's running mate, have you changed your opinion on either are of those? >> with reference to the busing vote that i cast in 1979, both mr. mondale and i agree on nondiscrimination. i just don't agree on the same direction he does on how to achieve it. but i don't think there's any problem with that. i think that's something that has been handled by the courts and not handled by the white house. but we both support integration and nonsegregation of neighborhoods. i represented a district in queens. 70% catholic. let me say, as well, i have always been a great supporter of public school education. that is something that we feel very, very strongly about for
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the future of this p country. this administration over the past several years has gutted the educational programs available to our young people. it has attempted to knock owl pe will -- pell grants for individuals who are poor and cannot afford to go to college. it has reduced by 25% the amount of money going into college education, and by a third those going into secondary and primary schools. but mr. mondale and i feel strongly that if you educate your children, that's an effort and a way that you build up and make a stronger america. with reference to civil rights, i think you have to go beyond that. i think if you look at my record in the congress and fritz mondale's, we both have extremely strong civil rights records. this administration does not. it has come in, in the bob jones ' case, on the side of segregated academies.
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it came in on the side of discrimination against women, the handicapped, and the elderly. as a matter of fact, in the congress we just passed overwhelmingly the civil rights bill of 1984 in this republican-controlled senate killed it in the last week or two in congress. so there is a real difference how the mondale-ferraro will address the issue of civil rights, particularly in that area. >> in the area of affirmative action, what steps do you think government can take to increase the representation of women and minorities in the work force and in colleges and universities? specifically would you support the use of quotas to achie those goals? >> i do not support the use of quotas. mr. mondale and i feel strongly that affirmative action to correct inequities. we believe steps should be taken both through government and, for instance, the small business administration. we have supported set-asides for minorities and women-owned
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businesses. that's a positive thing. we don't feel you are in any way hurting anybody else by reaching out to support those who have been disenfranchised. on the other hand, if you have a growing economy, if you create the jobs, if you allow for small business the opportunity with low interest rates to reach out and grow, there will be more than enough space for everybody and affirmative action is a very positive way to deal with the problems of discrimination. >> like president bush, many critics of your administration say it is the most harmful to minorities in recent memory. have you, inadvertently, perhaps, encouraged that view by supporting tuition tax credits, the busing opposition, the original opposition to the voting rights act and so forth? >> no. i think our record on civil rights is a good record.
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it was the longest extension by president reagan. but we have some problems in attracting the black vote, and i think our record deserves better. we have done more for black colleges than any previous administration. we favor enterprise zones to give -- and it was blocked by tip o'neal and they blocked a new idea to bring jobs into the black communities across this country. and because it is not an old-fashioned hand-outfederal handout, it was blocked. i would like to see that tried. we brought more civil rights cases in the justice department than the previous administration by far. we believe in trying something new to help these black teenaged kids. the minimum wage differential. it says, look, hire these guys.
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yes, they are willing to work for slightly less than the minimum wage. give them a training job in the private sector. we threw that out, that didn't train people for jobs that existed, simply ran them on the government payroll, and we put in something called the job training partnership act. wonderful new legislation that's helping blacks more and more. we think of civil rights as something like crime in your neighborhood. for example, when crime figures are going in the right direction, that's good, that's a civil right. similarly we think of it in terms of quality of life. and that means interest rates. you know, it is funny. mr. mondale talks about real interest rates. the real interest rate is what you pay when you try to buy a tv set or try to buy a car or do whatever it is. the real interest rates are where we left off 21.5%. inflation. is it a civil right to have that going off the charts so you are
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busting every american family, those who can afford did the least? we have a good record. we have it on civil rights legislation. minority set-asides, more help for black colleges, and we have it in terms of offering people opportunity and hope instead of despair. >> along those lines, sir, many recent studies have indicated that the poor and minorities have not really shared in the new prosperity generated by the current economic recovery. was it right for your administration to pursue economic policies that required those at the bottom of the economic ladder to wait for prosperity to trickle down from people who are much better off than they? >> mr. white, it is not trickling down. i am not suggest thrg is no poverty. i am saying the way to work out of poverty is through real opportunity. in the meantime, the needy are getting more help. human resource spending is way, way up. aide for dependent children is up.
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immunization programs are up. almost every place you can point, contrary to mr. mondale -- i have to be careful. contrary to how he goes around just saying everything bad. if somebody sees a silver lining he finds a big black cloud out there. shine on harvest moon. there's a lot going on, a lot of opportunity. >> congresswoman ferraro. >> he did not support the civil rights voting act when he was in the congress and the senate. it was passed despite his opposition. he did sign it when he was required to do so. the civil rights cases they enforced, they enforce them is because under the law they are required to do that. i am delighted to see that the administration is following the law. [applause] >> excuse me, this will be out
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of my time, not yours, knowing and cherishing the people of this city and knowing their restraint and different dense -- diffidence, i bee seach -- i beseach you, try to hold your applause, please. >> i have to comment on the comment the vice president made. if you take af d.c. , food stamps, go down the line on poor people's programs, those are the programs that suffered considerably under a different administration, first budget cuts, and those are the ones in the second part of their terms, we were able to restore some of those terribly unfair cuts to the poor people of this country. >> vice president bush. >> maybe we can have experts go to the books. they will do it anyway. spending for foods food stamps is way, way up under the reagan
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administration. af d.c. is up under the reagan administration. and i am not going to be found wrong on that. i am sure on my facts. we are trying to help, and i think we are doing a reasonable job. we are not going to rest until every single american that wants a job gets a job, and until this prosperity and this recovery is benefiting many americans benefits all americans. >> vice president bush, one of the most emotional issues in this campaign has been the question of the separation of church and state. what are your views on the separation of church and state, specifically with regard to abortion? do you believe it was right for the archbishop of philadelphia to have a letter read in 305 churches urging catholics to fight abortion with their votes? >> i do believe in pluralism, i do believe in separation of church and state. i don't consider abortion a
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religious issue, i consider it a moral issue. i believe the archbishop has every right to do anything he wants in that direction just as i never call to jesse jackson from taking his message to the black pull pits across this country, just as i never suggested that the anti-nuclear movements be stopped, many of those are led by priests. suddenly because an evangelist feels strongly on an issue people say it is merging of church and state. we favor, and i speak strongly of the president, we favor separation of church and state. we favor pluralism. well, somebody says, you ought to restore prayer in schools. you don't think it is right to prohibit a kid for praying in schools. for years kids were allowed to pray in school. we don't think that's a merger of church and state to have a nonmandatory voluntary,
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nongovernment-ordered prayer. yet, some are accusing of -- us of injecting religion into plicts. i have no problem what the archbishop does. i have no problem with the evangelists do or what the priests on the left do. it didn't bother me that during the vietnam war democratic and republican governments were led by priests encouraging people to break the law in the adage of the civil disobedience thing. so our position, separation of church and state, pluralism, so no little kid with a minority religion of some sort will feel offended or left out or feel uncomfortable. but yes, prayer in schools, a voluntary basis. worked for many, many years until the supreme court ruled differently. and i'm glad we got this question. i think there has been too much said about religion and politics. we don't believe in denominationally 6 moving in.
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it wasn't our side that raised the question about our president, whether he was a good christian or not. [applause] so that's our position. separation of church and state, pluralism, respect for all. >> vice president bush, four years ago you would have allowed federal financing for abortions in cases of rain and incest as well as when a mother's life was threatened. does your position now agree with that of president reagan who in sunday's debate came very close to saying that abortion is murder? >> you know, there has been. i have to make a confession. an evolution in my position. there has been 15 million abortions since 1973. i don't take that lightly. there has been a million and a half this year. the president and i do favor a human rights amendment. i favor one that would have an exception for incest and rain,
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and he doesn't. we thought it was only for the life of the mother. i agree with him on that. yes my position has evolved. i would like to see the american who faced with 15 million abortions isn't rethinking his or her decision. i will say i support the president's decision and comfortably from a moral standpoint. >> so you believe it is akin to murder? >> i support the president's position. >> fine. congresswoman, what are your views with respect to the separation of commoich and state and do you believe it was right for the archbishop of philadelphia have those letters read and urge the voters to fight abortion with their votes? >> let me say first of all, i believe very, very much in separation of church and state. if you go back to the 1600's and people came here, the reason they came here to this country was to escape religious persecution. that's the same reason why
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people are coming here today in the 1940's to escape naziism and now to escape communism so they can come here and practice their religion. our country is founded on the principle that our government should be neutral as far as religion is concerned. what's happened over the past several years, and quite frankly i'm not going to let you lay on me the intrusion on state in politics and politics into religion, but my comment is in reference to the vice president as question. it happened when the reverend jerry falwell became involved in the campaign. what happened over the past four years has been i think a real fudging of that line with the separation of church and state. the actions of the archbishop, let me say to you, i feel that they have not only a right, but a responsibility to speak up. you know, i feel they have the responsibility to do so. i have no problem with it, no
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more than i did with the priest who marched in vietnam nor did i when martin luther king marched at the time of the civil rights marches. i have no problem with them speaking up. i think they have an obligation, as well as a right. what i do have a problem with is when the president of the united states gets up in dallas and addresses a group of people and says who anyone who doesn't support his position of prayer in schools are intolerant of religion. there are numerous religious groups this do not support that. are they intolerant of religion? i also object that the reverend falwell would take two of our supreme court justices. i would say that is more than a fudging of the line, it is a total intrusion, and i think it is a violation of our constitution. [applause] >> congresswoman ferraro, i am a
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devout catholic. do you feel you -- congresswoman ferraro, as a devout catholic, do you feel you are being treated unfairly? >> i did not come to my position on abortion easily. i am a devout catholic. i sat next to lamont senior, currently a bishop. i spoke to him about my personal feelings that i would 6 -- i would not support -- that's my religious view. i will accept the teaching of the church. but i cannot impose my religious views on someone else. i take an oath to represent all the people in my district, not only the catholics. if there comes a time when i cannot practice my religion and do my job properly, i will resign my job.
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>> vice president bush, your rebuttal? >> i respect that statement. i really and truly do. we have a difference on the moral question here on abortion. i notice that mr. mondale keeps talking in the debate, and now it has come up here about mr. falwell. i don't know where this canard could have come from about mr. falwell picking the supreme court justices. ronald reagan has made one superb, outstanding, the only one he has made appointment to the supreme court, and that was sandra o'connor. mr. falwell opposed that. i hope this lays to rest this slander against the president. we want justices that will interpret the constitution, not legislate. >> congresswoman ferraro, your rebuttal. >> i find that difficult to
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believe because the republican party plant in dallas, one of the things they said was the position on abortion would be a litmus test not only for supreme court justices but also other federal justices. that seems to me a blurring of the lines of the separation between church and state. >> next questioning for mr. boyd. >> mike many americans, each of you has recently had an unhappy experience with the internal revenue service. i'm going to prolong your ordeal. congresswoman ferraro, you disagree with the rules that a candidate must report the income or asset of his or her spouse if they get benefit from them. your income taxes return that you did benefit because your husband paid mortgage and property taxes on your home. the house ethics committee is examining this question, but they will not report their findings until after the election. would you be willing to ask that committee to hurry up its report before the election? >> let me say to you, i already
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did that. i wanted them to move ahead. if you recall, i went an hour and 45 minutes speaking to 200 reporters on august 21, the day after i was required to file my financial statement. and i sat for as long as they had questions on the issue, and i believe that they were satisfied. i found more information on any other candidate. not only did i agree to file my tax returns after a little bit of prodding, my husband also agreed to file his with the -- not with the ethics committee but with the f.e.c., but the action you are talking about was started by a right wing legal organization foundation knowing that i would have to -- that there would be an automatic inquiry. we have filed the necessary papers. i have asked them to move it along. unfortunately the house, i
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believe will be going out of session today. i don't know if they will move. quite frankly, i would like that to be taken care of anyway, because i just want it cleared up. >> since that famous august 21 press conference on your finances, you filed a new report with the ethics committee, and this showed your previous reports were full of mistakes and omissions. for example, you failed to report about fwelf trips that were paid for by special interest groups. at least 18 cases, your holdings were misstated. do you think it shows good leadership to plame blame all this on sloppy work to your account yanlt? >> what it shows is that truly i hired an account yavent that had been with our family for well over 40 years. he was filling out those ethics forms. i did not spend the time with him. i just gave him my tax information and he did it. i have to tell you what we have done since. i hired a marvelous account yanlt. i spent a lot of money having him go through those ethics
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forms, and he will be doing my taxes over the next eight years while we're in the white house so the american public can be sure it is all taken care of. [applause] . >> vice president bush, last year you paid less than 13% of your income in taxes. according to the i.r.s. someone in your bracket normally pays 23%. is there something wrong with our tax laws that requires such large deductions of taxes for wealthy people? >> they reported federal taxes, state and local taxes. it gives people a fairer picture. that year i happened to pay a lot of state and local taxes, which, as you know, are deducted from the other. i looked it up the other day, and we paid, i think it's 342% of our gross income in taxes. s
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>> we did a little looking around to see about his. we can't find his 1981 tax return. it may have been released. maybe my bonet knows whether he released it. we did find his income is $1.4 million, and i think he paid the same as i did in taxes. he also made a reference that troubled me very much. he started talking about my chauffeur. you know, i'm driven to work by the secret service. so is mrs. ferraro, so is mr. mondale's. they saved the life of the president of the united states. i thought that was a cheap shot telling the american people to try to divide class, rich and poor. but the big question, it isn't whether mrs. ferraro is doing well. i think they are depog pretty well.
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i know barbara and i are doing well. and it is darn sure mr. mondale is doing well with $1.4 million. but the question is, are the tax codes fair? the answer is, the rich are paying 6% more on taxes and the poor are getting a better break. they went to the ethics committee. they went to change the trust. the trust has been revealed. and i was sure glad to see that i had paid 42% of my gross income in taxes.
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>> are you really a texan? >> i am really a texan. i may have noted she has a new good accountant. i would like to get his name and phone number. i think i paid too much in the way of taxes. and residents, mr. boyd, legal residence for voting is very different. the domicile, they call it, very different than the house. they say you are living in the vice president's house. therefore you don't get -- i got problems with the i.r.s. so do a lot of people out there. i think i've paid too much. it's not unethical. i'd like to get some money back. >> i will give the vice
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president my accountant, but i warn you, he's expensive. i think the question is, whether or not the tax system that our government uses is fair. i think it is unfair, but it is not something we can address in the short term. the tax cuts the vice president and i got three years ago, no, that's not fair. if you earn 20,000, 40,000, you may have gotten 1,000. if you made let's less than 10,000 you suffered a loss of $400. that's not fair. that's basically unfair. not only is it unfair, but economically, it has darn-near destroyed this country. there is a $750 billion tax cut over five years. that's one of the reasons we're facing the debts we have now. >> mr. vice president? >> i think i've said all i want to say. .
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that is the part of this debate devoted to domestic affairs. we will now turn to foreign affairs. >> vice president bush, since your administration came to
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power, the president has promised a stern response against terrorism. but attacks have continued in lebanon and the middle east. what can be done to stop the? stop?too it? >> terrorism is very difficult to stop. when you see the lebanon building hit by terrorism, the israelis, with all their experience fighting terrorism, you know it is difficult. when you see khamenei with his radical islam resorting to government-sponsored terrorism, it is difficult. the intelligence business can do a good job. i am always want to defend the
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central intelligence agency. i believe we should strengthen it. i believe we still have the best foreign intelligence business in the world. it is difficult to get the source information that you need to go after something as shadowy as international terrorism. in iran, you had a government holding a u.s. embassy. the government, sanctioning the takeover of that embassy by those students. the government negotiating with the united states government for their release. in lebanon, in the terror that happened at the embassy, you have the governor -- governments bear one thing to -- there wanting to help with terrorism. as everyone who has experience in that area knows, it is a difficult thing. we need absolutely the best
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security possible. we cannot go assigning blame. the president is accepting that. he has been wonderful about it and everything that has happened. fair minded people who understand international terror know it is hard to guard against. the answer lies in the middle east and terrorism is happening all over the world. it is a solution to the palestine question. under the umbrella of the reagan september, 1982 initiative will reduce terror. will not eliminate it. >> you mentioned khomeini. some people charge the previous administration of being almost helpless. why isn't your administration doing something to take action against arab states that foments this type of terrorism. >> we son states that want to stand up against international terror. -- we fund states that want to
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stand up against international terror. our relationship with israel has never been better. we do believe in reaching out to what is called both cooperative states and helping them with defensive weapons to guard against international terror or radical islam perpetuated by khamenei. because we have done that and because the saudi arabians have shot down a couple of the intruding airplanes we have helped keep the peace in the persian gulf. >> representative ferraro, you and mr. mondale have criticized the president on international terror. what would you do to reduce the attached? >> mr. bush has preferred to the embassy that was held in iran.
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i went to the white house in january in 1981 when all 52 of the hostages came home alive. at that time, president reagan gave a speech welcoming them home. we were so excited to see them back. but he said was, the united states has been embarrassed -- what he said was, the united states has been embarrassed for the last time. next time, there will be swift and immediate steps taken to address the wrong against our country. in april of 1983, i was in beirut and visited the ambassador at the embassy. two weeks later, the embassy was bombed. take a look at the crazy activities of terrorism -- terrorists. you never know what will happen. the following october, there was another bombing.
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that bombing took place at a marine barracks. right after that bombing occurred, there was a commissions the up. that commission did a study of the security arrangements around where the marines were sleeping. it found there was negligence, that they did not have proper gates up, proper precautions to stop those trucks from coming in. the long commission reports and the president stood up and stand -- and said, i take responsibility. last month, we had our third bombing. there was no data up. the second time with our marines, the gate was open. the third time, the gate was not installed. what was the president's reaction? the security arrangements were not in. the marines were guarding its
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and left -- it and left to go away. again, the president assumed responsibility. i would like to know what that means. are we going to take proper precautions before we put americans in situations where they are in danger? is this president going to take some action? >> some democrats cringe at the words spying and covert activity. do you believe they have a legitimate role in counteracting terror around the world? >> the cia, in the last bombing, had given information in reference to the actual threat that that embassy was going to be bombed. there is a legitimate reason for the cia to exist and that is to gather intelligence for information for our security. when i see them doing what they
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are doing in south america, i do not support that kind of activity. the cia is there to protect our government, not to subvert other governments. >> vice president bush? >> i think i just heard mrs. ferraro said she would do away with all covert action. that has serious ramifications that the intelligence community knows. this is serious business. sometimes it is quite support for a friend. let me help you with the difference, mrs. ferraro, between iran and the embassy in lebanon. in iran, we were held by a foreign government. in lebanon, you had a terrorist action where the government oppose it. we went to lebanon to give peace a chance, to stop the bombing of civilians in beirut, to remove 13,000 service -- terrorists
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from lebanon. for somebody to suggest these men died in shame, they better not tell the parents of those young marines. they gave peace a chance and our allies were with us. >> representative ferraro? >> i almost present president -- but president bush for the patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about foreign policy. i have seen what has happened in the past 17 months of your administration. secondly, please do not categorize my answers. leave the interpretation of my answers to the american people who are watching this debate. let me say further that no one has ever said those young men who were killed by the negligence of this administration and others ever died in shame. no one with a child who is 19 or 20 years old would ever say that
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about the loss of anybody else's child. >> representative ferraro, you have repeatedly said he would not want your son to die in an undeclared war for an uncertain cause. mr. mondale has suggested it might be necessary to erect a haunting for the problem. -- erecting a military force for nicaragua. under what circumstances would you be for military action? >> i would recommend it is for the protection of our nation and our neighbors. when mr. mondale referred to the quarantine of central america, a country in central america, what he was referring to was a last
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resort after all other means of settling the situation down there had been exhausted. quite frankly, now what is being done by this administration is the americanizing of a regional conflict. they are moving militarily instead of promoting the process. the process that is in place with the support of mexico and colombia and panama and venezuela -- instead of supporting the process, our administration has been supporting covert activities in it for what was to keep the revolution going to overthrow the sandinista government. el salvador was not pushing the head of the government toward the correction of human rights problems that exist there. now this administration seems almost befuddled by the fact that nicaragua is moving to
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participate in the process. alabama silo door is reaching out to be guerrillas to negotiate peace. -- el salvador is reaching out to the guerrillas to negotiate peace. >> many time in its history, the united states has gone to war to defend freedom. does your answer mean you would be willing to forgo the use of military force even if it meant the establishment of a soviet- backed dictatorship so close to our own borders? >> i assume you are speaking about the government of nicaragua. we can work with the government to achieve a pluralistic society. they do have elections coming up on november 4. we have to work with them to achieve a peaceful solution to bring about a pluralistic
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country. no, i am not willing to live with a force that could be a danger to our country. i would see that our country would be putting all kinds of pressure on the neighboring countries of honduras, costa rica, el salvador to promote the kind of society we can all live with in security of this country. >> vice president bush, cuba and the what what are making extensive preparations to defend themselves -- cuba and nicaragua are making extensive preparations to defend themselves against a december invasion. can you tell us what circumstances a reelected reagan administration would consider the use of force in the caribbean? >> we do not think we would be required to use force.
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let me point out there are 2000 cuban military and 7500 so- called cuban advisers in nicaragua. there are 55 american military in el salvador. i went down on the instructions of the president to speak with the commander in el salvador. i told them they had to move with the president of el salvador to respect human rights. they have done that. they are moving well. it is not perfect. the difference between el salvador and nicaragua is like the difference between night and day. el salvador went to the polls. mr. duarte was elected by 70% of the people. in nicaragua, you have something different. you have a marxist, leninist group who came to power and has avoided their democracy. they have humiliated the holy
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father. they have cracked down on the only press oregon there, censoring the press, something that should concern every merican -- organ there, serving the press, something that should concern every american. mr. ortega went down there and found that the ground rules were so unfair, he could not even wait a campaign. one country is devoid of human rights. the other is struggling to effect their democracy. we do not like it when the arrival exports is revolution or serves as a conduit to try to destabilize else salvador. we are concerned about that. we want to see this trend toward democracy continue. there has been something like 13 countries since we have come in moves toward democracy.
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grenada is not unrelated. i have a big difference with mrs. ferraro on that one. we gave those tiny caribbean countries a chance. we saved the lives of those thousands of students who said they were in jeopardy. grenada was a proud moment because we stood up for democracy. are these countries a threat for nuclear weapons? no, there is not that kind of threat. >> considering this country's long respect for rule of international law, wasn't right for the united states to be involved in mining harbors of nicaragua and refused to allow a world court to adjudicate that dispute? >> i support what we are doing. it was supported by the congress under the law. my only regret is that the aid for the contras -- if we called
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them freedom fighters. they want to see the democracy perfected in nicaragua. am i to understand by this assault on covert action that nowhere in the world would we do something that was off base when mrs. ferraro said she would never support it. would she not support it if the violation of human rights was so serious that they needed freedom fighters? everyone who is not for this, everyone who wants to let the sandinista government prevail like castro did -- the contras are not sandinistas. these are the people who avoided the revolution. these are the people support human rights. >> representative ferraro. i spent a good deal of time in
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central america in january and had a chance to speak to the contras. the situation, as it exists now, because of this administration's policies, is not getting better. we are not moving toward a more secure area of the world. the more troops the sandinistas have accumulated since the demonstration has started this action has risen from 12,000 to 15,000. i did not support the mining of the harbors. it is a violation of international law. this week, commerce votes to cut off covert aid to nicaragua until is request is made and there is evidence there is a need for it. the covert activities, which i oppose in nicaragua, the cia covert activities in that this
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is the country are not supported by the congress and are not supported by the majority of people throughout this country. >> vice president bush? >> i would simply like to make the distinction again between those countries that are searching for democracy and the handful of countries that have totally violated human rights and are going the marxist route. ortega, who is head of the nicaraguan sandinistas, is an avowed marxist. they do not believe in the church or free elections or all of the values we believe in. it is our policy to support the democracies there. when you have freedom fighters who want to perfect that revolution and all the democratic route, we believe in giving them support. we are for negotiation. $3 out of every $4 we have
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sinned there has been for economic aid to support the people's chance to eat and live up and be happy and enjoy life. you when i get that from listening to mr. mondale. >> vice president bush, the last three republican administrations, eisenhower, nixon, ford, met with the soviets and got agreement on arms control. the soviets have not changed that much. can you tell us why president reagan has not met with soviet minister's at all and that only met with foreign minister of the soaring -- only met with the foreign minister a month ago. >> there have been three separate soviet leaders. in three and half lead -- three and a half years, three separate leaders.
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the soviets have not been willing to talk. we went to the table. we had a good and moral proposal. banned an entire generation of intermediate nuclear force weapons. do not leave the soviets with 1200 of these things and the alliance with now. we do not think that was the way you deter aggression and keep the peace. the first thing the president did when he came into office was make a proposal on the most destabilizing weapons of all. the soviets said, we do not like that proposal. we said we would be more flexible. at the urging of the president, i went to geneva and laid on the table a treaty to ban all chemical weapons. we said, let's come together. come over here and see what we are doing and we will go there and see what you are doing. let's say the kids of this world from chemical weapons, a brilliant proposal to get rid of
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all of them. the soviets, no, no, no. they are not even willing to tell us the base. there are four sessions. we had an agreement with them on the hot line. carter-mondale made an agreement. the democratic senate and the democratic administration would not even ratify the agreement. it was flawed. it was unverifiable. it was not good. our president was to reduce, not just to stop. he wants to reduce dramatically nuclear weapons. when the soviets know they are going to have a strong president to deal with and this new administration can solidify its position, they will talk. if they think the opposition will give up the b1 before they sit down unilaterally before they are willing to talk, they
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may just sweat it out for them a more years. who knows? >> you have been quoted as saying a nuclear war was winnable. is that your opinion? >> i was quoted wrong. i never said that. i agree with the president. it should never be fought. nuclear weapons should never be fought with. that is our approach. let's encourage the soviets to come to the table as we did at the meeting. i wish everybody could have seen that one. the president giving the facts to all of these in these nuclear meetings. excellent, right on top of the subject matter. i'll bet he went back to the soviet union and said, this president is calling the shots. we better move.
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i think the agreement is in the interest of the soviet union just as it is in the interest of the united states. they are not deterred by rhetoric. i have lived in a communist country. it is not rhetoric that the sides and agreement. it is the self-interest of those countries. >> representative ferraro, you and mr. mondale are for a pair of viable nuclear freeze. how would you verify such an agreement and make sure the soviets are not cheating? >> let me say, first of all, that there is not any issue more important in this campaign than war and peace. it is not enough to want peace. we must believe in it. it is not enough to believe in it. you must work for it. this administration's policies have indicated quite the opposite. the last time i hurt by
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president bush blamed the fact that they did not meet with -- the last time i heard vice- president bush blamed the fact that they did not meet with the soviet union that athere have been three soviet youth -- soviet leaders in the past three years. they are people like soviet leaders have managed to meet with and they cannot meet with the president of the united states. this is the first president since the start of negotiating our arms control agreements who has not negotiate an arms control agreement. he has been opposed to every single one that every other president has negotiated including carter, for, and nixon.
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let me just say that with reference to the vice president's comments about the intent and desire of the united states in this administration, the soviet union did walk out of the talks. it seems to me that in 1982, when the administration presented the s.t.a.r.t. proposal, it was not a realistic proposal. it dealt just with land-based nuclear missions -- missiles. that aside, in 1982, their own negotiator came out with a proposal which would have limited the number of nuclear arms in europe. that proposal was turned down by the administration. the proposal presented by its own administrator. i am delighted that they met with the soviet leader. the could have had an opportunity to meet with him in 1981 when he came to the u.n.
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and in 1982 as well. >> congresswoman, i am sorry. i have to impose a limit on you. vice president bush? >> there is quite a difference between the leader of cyprus and the leader of the free world, ronald reagan in terms of meeting. the soviet union will meet with a lot of different people. we have been in close touch with those who have met with the leaders of the soviet union. that is quite different than meeting with the president of the united states. the soviets say, we will have a meeting when there has been progress. yet they left those talks. i would like to correct my opponent on the walk in the woods. it was the soviet union that was unwilling to discuss the what in the woods. representative ferraro mentioned the inflexibility on -- of our
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position on strategic arms. we tried to reduce the ss-18's and those weapons. there is flexibility. that is an important point in terms of negotiations. >> congresswoman, he that taketh away, must give back. you will have the to menace our a rebuttal. but you rob me of my follow-up. -- > >> you rob me of my follow-up. >> representative ferraro, how can you convince the american public that the world will be a safer place under ferraro- mondale.
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? >> what you can do is look at what we have done and recognize they will not do much in the future. since they have done nothing, do we continue to build? and arms race does not lead to anything except another arms race. vice president mondale has indicated that what he will do is i do not think you can start negotiating until you start talking. secondly, he would issue a talent in the nature of temporary mutual verifiable to halt testing in the air -- had entered the atmosphere that would respond with a challenge from the soviet union. we hope to sit down and
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negotiate a treaty. that was done in 1960. >> you have another minute. a >> what that would do is give us the opportunity to sit down and negotiate a treaty. that was done in 1960 by president kennedy. he issued a challenge to the soviet union. in two months they set down and negotiated a treaty. we do not have to worry about that kind of testing. it is mutual. it is verifiable and is a challenge. once that is not met, we would continue testing as well. >> a hourglass to series of questions. >> you have had little or no
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experience in military matters and get you might find yourself commander in chief of the armed forces. how can you convince the american people that you would know what to do to protect this nation's security. the thing the soviets might be attempted to take the advantage of the because you might be a woman? >> i think what happens is when you try to equate whether or not i have had military experience, that is the natural conclusion. it is as valid as saying he would have to be black to devise racism. you'd have to be a female to be offended by sexes them. i think if you take a look at where i have been in the congress and where i choose to
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go, the type of person i am, the people of this country can rely on the fact that i will be a leader. i do not think the soviet union can sit down and determine what half to doif i half hal something with the soviet union. if the soviet union were to ever to believe they could challenge the united states with any kind of nuclear forces or otherwise. if i were in a position of leadership, that would be assured they would be met with swift, concise, and certain retaliation. let me say one other thing. the most important thing that one has to do is get to the point where you are not put into that position. the way you get to that position
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of moving away from having to make a decision on anything else is moving towards arms control. that is not what has been done over the past four years. if you were to take a look at the failures of this administration, that would have to be number one. i will not put myself in that position. i will move immediately for arms control negotiations. >> for my follow up, i will borrow from your principles and ask you what is the simple question you would most like to ask your opponent of foreign policy? >> i do not have a single most question. i guess the concern that i have is a concern not only as a vice presidential candidate but as a citizen in this country. my concern is that we are not doing anything to stop the arms race. it seems to me if we keep
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talking about military superiority -- we are at a comparable level with the soviet union -- our joint chiefs of staff at said a exchanging our military power for there's -- i guess what i would want is commitment. pretty soon they would do something about making this a safer world for all of us. >> four years ago president reagan insisted a military buildup would bring the negotiate -- the soviets to negotiate. since that have spent almost $1 trillion on defense but the soviets are building their military as rapidly as we are. was his strategy wrong? >> i think his strategy is correct. you have to go to where we are. when we came into office the american people recognize that we have slipped in positions on
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inferiority and various things. some of our plans were older than the pilots. ships cannot go out to sea. you had a major problem with the military. the morale was not very good either. we have had to strengthen the military. we are well on the way to getting that job done. america is back in terms of military strengthen our ability to deter aggression and keep the peace. at the same time, we have made proposals and proposals and that sound proposals on reducing nuclear weapons. the strategic arms reduction talks were good discussions. the talks were sound of talks, and i wish the soviet union has continued them. a treaty to ban chemical treaties with our initiative. we think it would move forward
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to verification so that everybody would know whether the other side was keeping its word. you would reduce the level of terror. we are talking to them about conventional reduction. we have talked to them about human rights. we try to do something about the human rights question. the oppression of soviet juice is intolerable. we have to keep moving forward. -- the oppression of soviet jews is intolerable. the soviets are more likely to make a deal. they made a treaty when they thought we were going to deploy and abm system. i am optimistic for the future once they realize we will have a strong, principled president to
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negotiate with, strong leadership of demonstrative flexibility on arms control. >> i will give you a chance to ask the question you would like to must ask of your opponent. >> i sure would like to use the time to talk abut the world series or something of that nature. i do not have any questions. we are so different from the -- the reagan/bush administration is so different that america will have the clearest choice. it is about going back to the failed ideas of the past, inflation, despair, no leadership -- blaming the american people for failed leadership, or another option. keep this recovery going until it benefits everybody. peace at home, peace abroad, prosperity, opportunity.
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i would like to hear her talk on those things, but i think the yellow light is flashing so we will leave it there. >> nothing on the world series? >> i think the vice president's comment is an indication on -- it really typifies the administration. an administration that looks backward to not for words into the future. i am tickled other comments on human rights. the soviet union in 1979 allowed 51,000 people to immigrate because this administration's policies over the past years, 1300 people got out of the soviet union had entered 1983 and 1984. that is not a career record on human rights achievements. this administration has spent $1 trillion on the fence but it has not gotten $1 to land on national security. >> your rebuttal? >> no rebuttal.
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>> weekend and go to the closing statements. each will be four minutes and like that we will begin with the vice president. >> and a couple of weeks, the american people will be faced with a choice. the clearest choice in 50 years. do we move forward with strength and prosperity, or do we go back to weakness, despair, this respect? ronald reagan and i have cut our trust and the american people. we have moved some of the power away from washington, d.c. and put it back with the people. the neighborhoods are safer because crime is going down. your sons and daughters are doing better but interest will. there is a new opportunity lying out there in the future. science, technology, and space offering technology to everybody, all the you -- all of the young ones coming up.
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ronald reagan is clearly the strongest leader of the free world. i will be honest with you. it is a joy to serve with a president who does not apologize for the united states of america. mr. mondale on the other hand has one idea. go out and tax the american people. he wants to wipe out the one protection that those of the lowest end of the economic scale have protecting them against being rammed into higher and higher tax brackets. we owe our country too much to go back to that kind of an approach. i would like to say something to the young people. i know what it is to have a dream and to have a job and to work hard to really participate and to the american dream. some of your finishing high school and college, some of your starting off in the workplace.
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we want america oppose the greatest grift -- america's greatest griffeift. it is absolutely essential that we guarantee the young people that the they will not know the agony of war. gift, opportunity and peace. we must continue to go ahead. the world is too complex to go back to vacillation and weakness. with two much going on to go back to the failed policies of the past. the future is too bright to not give it our best shot. together we can go forward and left america up to meet her greatest dreams. thank you very much.
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[applause] [applause] >> thank you very much. in matters of equity, you will be allowed applause at your closing statement. >> i hope somebody wants to applaud. this is the greatest honor i have ever had. is not only the bond that i feel as i go across this country with a mentor of the country, i would not be standing here if mondale did not have the courage of my party does not stand for the morals that it does of equal opportunity. over the last two months to have
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been traveling all across the country talking to people about the future. he works for a car dealer and he is a word about the deficits and how high interest rates will affect his job. every place i go see young children and parents and the -- this award are regard to do to reduce the nuclear arms race? i sat with the allen family who lived next door to a toxic dump her are very concerned that the toxics are seeping into the water they and their neighbors and drink. these people love their country. that is not the patriotism your saying in the commercials as you watch television these days. their patriotism is not only a pride in the country, but a price that is strong enough to me to the challenges of the future. when we find jobs for the 8.5 million people that are
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unemployed in our country, we will make our country stronger. that will be a patriotic act. we cut interest rates, young people come by houses. there is pro-family. there will be a patriotic act. we educate our children that there will be able to compete in a world economy, that is a patriotic act. romney stop the arms race and make this a safer world. that is a patriotic act. when we keep the peace. young men did not die a, and that is a patriotic act. those are the keys to the future. who can be the leader for the future? when walter mondale was the attorney general of minnesota, he led the fight for a man who could afford to get justice because he could not afford a lawyer. he wrote the fair housing act.
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he even investigated the concerns and the abuses of migrant workers. why did he do that? those were not popular causes. children do not vote. migrant workers and i exactly a powerful lobby in this country. he did it because it was a right to. mondale said he would rather lose a battle over decency than when one ever self-interest. i agree with them. this campaign is not over. for our country, for our future, for the principles we believe in, walter mondale and i have just begun to fight it. clause[applause] >> thank you very much. i would like to thank the vice
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president bush, of the members of the panel for joining us in this debate. i would like to join you and thanking them, the city of philadelphia, and the league of women's voters. the next debate will take place said kansas city on october 21. this subject will be foreign affairs the war began that o'clock eastern time. we hope he will join us on the 21st. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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